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NJ Spotlight on Cities Looks Toward an Urban Agenda for New Jersey

September 28th, 2016 by New Jersey Future staff

New Jersey Future is a partner for this event focused on the state’s cities.

PrintWhat is the future of New Jersey cities? What policy matters should our leaders address? What does a Garden State urban agenda look like?

Some of the state’s biggest influencers and advocates will consider these questions when they come together Oct. 14 to tackle these questions at NJ Spotlight On Cities.

NJ Spotlight On Cities 2016 follows up on last year’s inaugural event, offering attendees the opportunity to explore its interdisciplinary nature and to make connections with people from a variety of fields who were all working towards the goal of improving New Jersey’s urban centers.

This year, the diversity of topics remains intact, and will contribute to the day’s overarching theme of building an urban agenda for New Jersey.

The conference will open with two major political figures: former Gov. Tom Kean and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, in conversation around urban agendas of New Jersey’s past, present and future.

Breakout sessions and short talks will feature subjects as varied as the opioid crisis, affordable housing and gentrification, mobility, community schools and integrated healthcare. New Jersey Future Executive Director Peter Kasabach will moderate a panel on how we move around within our cities and what still needs to be done.

Other panels include discussions of the resurgence of community schools as education reform, and the lead crisis still dogging our cities. Executives from some of New Jersey’s biggest corporate citizens will discuss the roles of their companies in improving the state’s urban communities, and the conference will finish with a look ahead to the role of urban issues in New Jersey’s 2017 gubernatorial race.

The day’s tentative agenda, subject to addition, is available here, and a growing list of confirmed speakers may be found here. Tickets are now available, and discounts are available for non-profit organizations, government employees, educators, students, and community activists.

Explainer: How to Think About New Jersey’s Population (and Income) Growth

September 14th, 2016 by Tim Evans

As an organization dedicated to using our land wisely, New Jersey Future has a great interest in whether the state’s population is increasing or decreasing, and by how much, and in what parts of the state. A rapidly increasing population means increasing development pressures on our towns, cities and remaining open spaces, while a declining population raises questions about what to do when economic and demographic changes render an industry or a development type obsolete. Both scenarios have implications for infrastructure investment priorities and place-based growth incentives. Therefore, it is important to understand the full picture of population growth or decline in our state. Read the rest of this entry »

School District Regionalization: The Land-Use Connection

August 22nd, 2016 by Tim Evans

s hunterdon highWill school district consolidation save New Jersey taxpayers money? It might, but equally important, it might lead to better land-use decisions that preserve open space, reinvigorate downtowns and main streets, and relieve the pressure on towns to expand sprawling infrastructure. This article delves into and explains the little-understood relationship between how we pay for our schools in New Jersey and the land-use development decision-making our local leaders get backed into making. Spoiler alert: A move to more regional school districts would diffuse the fiscal effects of land development and allow local officials to concentrate less on “What ratable do we need?” or “How many school kids is this development going to generate?” and more on “What land uses are best for our community?”

Read the full article.

Lead Found in School Drinking Water Across New Jersey

August 10th, 2016 by New Jersey Future staff

This article was written by New Jersey Future 2016 summer intern Rachel Host.


Online sources show 137 public schools in New Jersey have tested positive for lead in at least one drinking water outlet this year.

Drinking_fountainLead in drinking water is a serious concern that has come to the public’s attention recently with the crisis in Flint, Michigan, and subsequent discoveries of lead contamination in other cities around the country. New Jersey is not immune to this problem, and lead has been discovered in drinking water across the state. Read the rest of this entry »

Jersey Water Works Membership Meeting: Collaboration Is the Key

July 28th, 2016 by Elaine Clisham

“If it looks like water, it’s water.”

Former Philadelphia Water Company Commissioner Howard Neukrug highlights the One Water concept during his talk at the Jersey Water Works membership meeting. Photo credit: Rachel Host.

Former Philadelphia Water Company Commissioner Howard Neukrug highlights the One Water concept during his talk at the Jersey Water Works membership meeting. Photo credit: Rachel Host.

Former New Jersey Gov. and U.S. EPA Administrator Christie Whitman started the Jersey Water Works’ inaugural membership meeting July 25 by highlighting the scope of the problem we face. “We can’t make any more water,” she said, and our infrastructure systems are old, leaking, unsafe and, in New Jersey, particularly susceptible to the threat of climate change. No one entity can fix it alone, she continued, so it’s going to have to be “all of us.” Results will only come via the kind of collaboration at all levels that Jersey Water Works is fostering. Read the rest of this entry »

Three Communities Step Up To Mainstream Green Infrastructure

July 27th, 2016 by Louise Wilson

Pilot Towns Take Off


Newton's town square

Newton’s town square, which is also Sussex County’s only park. Photo courtesy of wikimedia commons user Ekem.

New Jersey Future’s Mainstreaming Green Infrastructure program is designed to move forward on three tracks: working with developers and their design professionals; identifying and advancing demonstration projects; and working intensively with towns – specifically, three pilot towns – to help them fully embrace exemplary stormwater management practices and advance the use of green infrastructure in public and private development projects.

The program’s focus is statewide through its work with developers and ordinance recommendations, but it also has a special emphasis on smaller communities located in critical Delaware River watershed areas of northwest Jersey’s Highlands and in south Jersey’s Kirkwood Cohansey Aquifer area of coastal plain, which includes the Pinelands. Read the rest of this entry »

New Jersey Future Trustee Receives NJUA Distinguished Service Award

July 13th, 2016 by New Jersey Future staff

Photo: (left to right) The Hon. Mary-Anna Holden, commissioner, NJ Board of Public Utilities; Robert Iacullo, NJUA’s 2016 Distinguished Service Award recipient; Mary Patricia Keefe, chairperson, NJUA and vice president, regulatory affairs and business support, Elizabethtown Gas; Andrew Hendry, president and CEO, NJUA.

L to R: Hon. Mary-Anna Holden, commissioner, NJ Board of Public Utilities; Robert Iacullo, NJUA’s 2016 Distinguished Service Award recipient; Mary Patricia Keefe, chairwoman, NJUA and vice president, regulatory affairs and business support, Elizabethtown Gas; Andrew Hendry, president and CEO, NJUA.

The New Jersey Utilities Association has awarded the utility industry’s highest honor, the NJUA Distinguished Service Award, to Robert J. Iacullo for his leadership and accomplishments on behalf of New Jersey’s investor-owned utilities. The award was presented during the Association’s 101st Annual Conference.

A current trustee of New Jersey Future, Mr. Iacullo retired from SUEZ North America in 2016 after 36 years, most recently as executive vice president, overseeing the support services of environmental compliance, health and safety, operations support, corporate communications, regulatory relations and external affairs for SUEZ North America’s water and wastewater businesses across the nation. In this capacity, he had overall responsibility for supporting the company’s utility and environmental services business lines. Read the rest of this entry »

Design Professionals Walk Away With Practical Green Infrastructure Insights

June 24th, 2016 by Kandyce Perry

GI workshop4

Participants, led by Princeton Hydro’s Geoff Goll (center), gather to take a look at green infrastructure installations at NJM Insurance Group’s Hammonton campus during the May 24th workshop for design professionals.

As part of New Jersey Future’s effort to mainstream green infrastructure across the state, two workshops for design professionals were conducted, rounding out the workshop series. (See a recap on the workshop for municipal leaders here.) Attendees included municipal and consulting engineers, architects and landscape architects who design and/or review stormwater management systems. Ten firms, one municipality, one county, the New Jersey Department of Transportation and the Pinelands Commission were represented at the Pinelands region workshop and eight design firms, two municipalities, four counties, the New Jersey Department of Transportation, and the Highlands Council were represented at the workshop in northwest New Jersey. Read the rest of this entry »

New Jersey Future Wins National Award for Sandy Report

June 23rd, 2016 by New Jersey Future staff

Maria DiSalvatore, left, vice chairwoman of the New Jersey Association for Floodplain Management, accepting New Jersey Future's award at the Association for Floodplain Management national conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Maria DiSalvatore, left, vice chairwoman of the New Jersey Association for Floodplain Management, accepting New Jersey Future’s award at the Association of State Floodplain Managers national conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The Association of State Floodplain Managers has honored New Jersey Future with its national 2016 Tom Lee State Award for Excellence in Floodplain Management. The award recognizes New Jersey Future’s report In Deep, which reviews lessons from the organization’s innovative post-Sandy local recovery planning manager program.

The pilot program involved placing experienced planners in six selected municipalities to assist with short-term recovery, help evaluate offers of post-disaster assistance, secure additional resources, and facilitate decision-making to increase long-term resiliency. These professionals were made available at no cost to the participating towns, through funding from the Merck Foundation and the New Jersey Recovery Fund.

The In Deep report examines the origin and outcomes of the groundbreaking approach to helping communities take steps to make themselves more resilient to natural disasters and summarizes the lessons learned from those engagements. It also contains recommendations on how to build upon the pilot program, including a call for funding local recovery planning managers as a standard government practice after a major disaster.

The Association of State Floodplain Managers presents the Tom Lee State Award for Excellence in Floodplain Management annually to recognize an outstanding floodplain management program or activity at the state level.

New Jersey Future’s Teri Jover Named Sustainability Hero

June 2nd, 2016 by New Jersey Future staff

 

New Jersey Future Deputy Executive Director Teri Jover has been named Sustainable Jersey’s Sustainability Hero for June 2016! Below is an edited version of the announcement that ran in the Sustainable Jersey newsletter.


Teri Jover SJ Sustainability HeroFor more than 15 years, Teri Jover has worked in the nonprofit sector to champion the advancement of sustainable and healthy communities in New Jersey. Teri is the energetic chairwoman of Sustainable Highland Park, a volunteer-driven organization that achieved silver-level Sustainable Jersey certification for Highland Park Borough in 2013.

One of Teri’s biggest undertakings with Sustainable Highland Park was Highland Park’s US EPA Climate Showcase Communities Grant, which resulted in the creation of the borough’s “In Our Power Campaign,” Climate Action Plan and Home Energy Assessment Program. Under Teri’s leadership, Sustainable Highland Park has hosted three annual Earth Day celebrations, which have attracted hundreds of residents and engaged them in sustainability issues and practices as well as local music and food. Teri is the chair of Sustainable Jersey’s Land Use and Transportation Task Force and has been an invaluable supporting partner contributing to the development of the Sustainable Jersey program. Read the rest of this entry »

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